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Procedures to Use When Working with an Oxidized Milk Problem

I. Check entire pipeline system for any part that is not made of stainless steel, rubber, or plastic.

  • Pipeline and pipeline fittings
  • Receiver jar and probes
  • Milk pump and attached valves, etc.
  • Filter, strainers, etc.
  • Bulk Tank - agitator paddle and rod, milk valve
II. Wash up system
  • Sink and sink drains and plugs
  • Connecting lines from sink to pipeline
  • No part that is not stainless, plastic, or rubber should be washed in sink
  • To be safe in washing, use only rubber, plastic, or wood brushes
III. Feed
  • Determine if copper in any form is being added to any feed going to the milking herd, dry cows, or heifers 1. If copper is being added for molybdenum control the therapeutic dose is 1 gram of CuSO4 per mature cow per day during the trouble period this dosage can be cut to /2 gram/cow/day. If you need to double check the molybdenum problem run laboratory analysis on the herd's legume feed for Cu, Mo, and SO4-S (inorganic sulfates). (If the level of molybdenum is 50% or more than the Cu level and the level of SO4-S is over 2,000 PPM you have a molybdenum problem.) Regardless of the degree of molybdenosis, 1 gram of Cu SO4/cow /day is an adequate dose.
  • No molybdenum problem, ask that no copper be added to the feed. A combination of most natural, California grown feeds contain adequate amounts of dietary copper.
  • Trace mineral salt blocks are most likely to be all right
IV. Alfalfa hay
  • Since much of the hay grown in California contains a copper level of from 3 ppm to 15 ppm, it may be necessary to run levels of Copper on hay being fed while herd is oxidized. Data provided could be then checked against Copper levels in hay when the same herd is no longer oxidized.
V. Determination of Copper contamination in pipeline
  • Run copper levels on bulk tank milk from AM and PM milkings
  • At next milking, sample bulk tank after the first 3 or 4 cows have been milked. Drain bulk tank, acid wash and rinse.
  • Sample bulk tank again after end of milking. Cu levels run on both samples should give levels of Cu picked up by milk from pipeline system
VI. Determination of Cu levels in pipeline
  • Analyze hot and cold H2O for Cu
  • Thoroughly wash sink with acid and rinse. Fill sink up with acid solution and take sample for copper analysis
  • Flush pipeline system thoroughly (15 minutes) with acid solution
  • Take sample of wash solution for Cu analysis
  • Difference in copper levels would determine degree of Cu contamination in pipeline
VII. If none of the above steps reduce oxidized flavor it will then be necessary to flavor the individual cows.
  • Large herd, at least sample all 1st and 2nd lactation animals
  • If a large percentage of the cows are found too be producing oxidized milk (intensity above 2) feed Vitamin E to the herd at 2,000 I.U./cow/day for 1 month. If flavor hasdisappeared by then, reduce level of E at rate of 400 I.U./cow/day each week.It may be possible or practical to feed E to only those cows found to be producing oxidized milk.
It is also recommended that the Dairy Farm Advisor not only know and work with the processor personnel, but work within a specific company's policy procedures.